Monday, July 13, 2009

About the Allegheny Riverfront Vision

For decades, Pittsburgh’s riverfronts were used as transportation corridors for industrial production. With few exceptions, the street grid was vacated from this zone to support larger contiguous footprints required by industrial uses.

Today we recognize the riverfronts as natural treasures that have the potential to become valuable amenities and assets for the public and the neighborhoods along them, including opportunities to reconnect neighborhoods back to riverfronts, reclaim the waterways as amenities, and provide recreation. The Allegheny Riverfront Vision Plan seeks to achieve this by creating a comprehensive and unified vision for the redevelopment of 6.5 miles of the Allegheny’s south shore stretching from 11th Street in the Strip District to Highland Park and a small area on the north shore at the 16th Street bridge. The study area involves hundreds of parcels, both publicly and privately owned. The project will examine ecological systems, market-based land uses, neighborhood connections, open space, infrastructure and pedestrian and transit opportunities.

The planning effort which began in April 2009 and continues over the next 12 months, is led by Perkins Eastman for urban design and planning, along with a team of ecological and landscape designers (CH2M HILL, Viridian Landscape Studio and Continental Conservation), transportation (Clear View Strategies and Trans Associates), and market consultants (GSP Consulting).

A 16-member Steering Committee that includes representatives from the URA, the mayor’s office, Riverlife, property owners and community organizations will oversee the effort with the support of a larger advisory committee. The public is invited to participate through community meetings, workshops and special events. Recommendations are expected in about a year.